Thursday, October 23, 2003

We're on the Radar

Almost a year ago, LPIN State Chair Mark Rutherford told me that we would know that the Libertarian Party was making serious progress whent he media found it in their hearts to begin shoving daggers in ours.

We must be making enormous strides.

I'll never forget my delight over the coverage of the 2002 elections, where all three (D, R, & L) candidates were featured in capsules in the Indy Star. Sure the Libertarian candidates weren't being raved, but their vital statistics were posted just like the others. What a difference a year makes.

Every error was reported. If one our candidates was late for a forum, it was reported. When Democrats were late or completely AWOL, it was not reported. If our candidate was simply a line-holder, it was pointed out. Republican line-holders were not identified as such. After years of silently scoffing at our candidates for their sometimes bush league dress code, our attempt at professionalization was mocked with the feckless help of a candidate who underdressed at a function.

The Star hinted that endorsements might be forthcoming for LP candidates, or in their words, "the best people, regardless of party affiliation". The Star did not endorse a single Libertarian. The Party had 21 of a possible 29 city-county council candidates running, earning pre-endorsement recognition. At the same time, the Star's 'Election 2003' print version graffic (not viewable on the Star website, unfortunately) has a logo for the Democrats and Republicans, but not the Libertarians.

NuVo printed a very nice feature on Rev. Greg Dixon, only to follow with a disgusting attack letter (not available on Nuvo's website) in the next issue. Balance, I guess.


So, my initial response was to see red. Then, who else but Mark Rutherford should remind me that these stabs are good news. They mean that we are on the radar. Besides, it's all George Bush's fault.

I am anxious to get to Election Day. I can't wait to compare the numbers from the last off-year elections to this year's. I'm betting that we will average 5% this time, across the board.

Of course, the sort of press 'help' we're getting could make a guy think we could even get 10%.

Wednesday, October 22, 2003

The New Chairman

I read a series of one-liners designed to attack one candidate and to promote another in Friday's USA Today. Here's the line:

"I think the President's philosophy is that if you're rich, you deserve it, and if you're poor, you deserve it."

Issued by the Chairman of the committee to re-elect Bush? I would have thought so. If Bush ever issues a statement that clear about his own way of thinking, I would consider voting for the man. However, this 'zinger' was issued by Howard Dean.

Next thing you know, Dean will start saying things like, "Bush thinks each individual owns himself," or "Bush thinks that people should be able to do what they like with their lives so long as they do not initiate force or fraud against another person". Incredible that anyone could think of these as epithets.

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Excitement in the News.

I am found once again in the ironic position of eagerly awaiting the next printing of the Indy Star. The Editorial Page staff has been dropping some whoppin' hints that they are going to endorse some Libertarian candidates in the City-County Council races. At this moment (12:40 am), the Tuesday online version is not yet up, *grumble*.

Naturally, I really want to see Brad Klopfenstein earn the endorsement, but I am also eager to see Rev. Greg Dixon get the nod, too. Both of them are running far more active and serious campaigns than their opponents, and that should count for something, even if you do not share the Libertarian viewpoint. These are the obvious choices, but I am also hoping that a surprise is lurking out there.

Maybe Webster Smith, who was excellent in a candidate roundtable forum I witnessed, will be chosen. Maybe one of our at-large candidates will be endorsed. In any case, I'll be dashing for the online version of the Star each morning this week in a way I rarely do.
Go Yankees!

This is a bit late in the game, but things pretty much followed form: the Yankees, with their tradition of excellence, never panicked and defeated the Red Sox, with their history of finding ways to lose. It was amazing. Ame & I sat down to watch Game Seven of the AL Championship Series with the Sox ahead 5-2. I looked to her and said, "the Yanks have this one. The Sox will let them back in." She rolled her eyes, but sure enough...

The Cubs took a 3-1 lead in the NL Championship Series, prompting a co-worker to buy the champaign. I gently reminded him that these were the Cubs, a team who has never won two Playoff Series' in the same season, and that it wouldn't be too unusual if they found a way to lose. I didn't even tell him that the Marlins are a team that has never lost a Playoff Series in their history. He walked off muttering, but sure enough...

What amazed me about the Cubs' wipeout was a poll that was conducted shortly after it was over. It asked for the cause of Chicago's collapse. Many votes were cast for the fan who interfered, others voted that Manager Dusty Baker left his starting pitchers in too long. What got the least votes was that the Marlins beat the Cubs. What got the least votes was correct. The Marlins overcame HUGE odds, showing real character, coming back when all looked hopeless. I like that.

I'm still pulling for the Yanks, though. I favor a long tradition of excellence to a budding one. My call was Yanks in five at the start, and even though the Marlins are a spirited and likeable bunch, I'm sticking with my prediction. I could be wrong, but hey- either way, a tradition of excellence will march on.
A Weekend in Chicago

Ah, a visit to Wrigleyville, where the Cubs fans do knash their teeth and sometimes wail, and where the Cubs merch is sold at a discount- especially that shirt with both the Cubbies' and Marlins' logos on it. Ame & I actually did step foot on the concrete outside Wrigley, and she snapped a cheesy shot of me in front of the Big Red Sign.

We were there to visit her cousin and family, as they have a new baby, Isabelle. She's adorable, and has Ame raring to go for a child of her own. Gulp.

Observations of Chicago, especially the north side:

1. I enjoyed the industrial landscape of Gary, Indiana and Chicago. I hadn't realized how much I missed it in being away from Cleveland. I think I can safely say that it is one of the only things I miss about Cleveland. Trains, factories, steel mills... yum yum.

2. I don't think I have seen as much revolutionary anti-President stuff since Reagan. Stickers were plastered all over every sign, dragging down and making ugly pockets of the residential areas we passed through. Why is it that the fiercest adherents of public property are the most eager to wreck it?

3. More to come.